11 February 2006

the new age of adventures

The discovery of a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings and the species in New Guinea is unbelievably cool. Amidst the strife and frustration in the world spanning culture, relegion, art, expression, science, war, the environment and pretty much everything some curious, intelligent and adventurous people are getting on with it and finding new things in a very 18th and 19th century kind of way. By going out and doing stuff. Being lowered into a jungle by helicopter because even the indigenous population have no idea on how to get there. By going to the most thoroughly excavated place on the planet and seeing what else might be kicking about.

Now, granted, the archeaologists weren't looking for a tomb. But they were still there, looking for something. Huts of some description I believe.

So the book on discovery isn't closed. And we are still so ignorant of our own planet and our own ancient history that it shouldn't be closed. Of course, it's not easy. There are the years in libraries and labs and lectures preceding and following these adventures that make them possible. But the adventures are what hook people, and inspire the next generation to suffer mind-numbing years of frustrating research to earn their right to adventure. And I hope that there are kids in the world right now who watch the news and maybe even read the paper who, instead of being frightened at the war, unrest, naysayers and paranoid meteorologists, look at the images of the sarcophogi in Egypt or the new frogs, birds and tree kangaroos and are filled with wonder. Who choose to be excited, interested, curious and to read more, instead of filling with fear of the outside world and the cultures to be found in it. Who want to find something new themselves.

We'll see. But I know I was certainly impressed and filled with not a small amount of wonder. Not enough to retrain as either an archaeologist or field biologist. But if there's ever a chance to stowaway and be useful on a dig or expedition, sign me up. I'll chronicle it.

10 February 2006

multiple stream of consciousness posts

For all those songs whose lyrics you've forgotten or get wrong? Check this out.

and the revolution

Just listened to Purple Rain for the first time in years. Not the whole album, mind, just the title song. Awesome. A high point of eighties music courtesy of Prince and The Revolution. Fucking awful film though. Honest.

beware nostalgia

I haven't written in the notebooks yet. But that's more due to not really going anywhere over the last few days and hence not needing them than a lack of actual writing. I've written a bit. Anyway, I'm going to lunch this afternoon, so will take it with me then. I'm not going to write in it just for the sake of writing in it though. Only if an idea hits.

I looked all over the web for a new skin/theme for the 'blog. No luck as yet. I'm happy to stick with this one for the time being. With my design experience, I could always bite the bullet and work on one myself. But that's just another distraction. I can pass posts on the blog off as writing exercises; coding a new design would be stretching it a bit. I need less distractions at the moment, not more.

As for the title of this post? Well, that's in reference to a cd I just bought. It was a band that only released one album, just as I was up at university. They were a cult group called Freaky Realistic. They had a few groovy tunes. So I tracked down a copy of Frealism, and it's ok. But not great. To be honest, it's funky fusion with electronica, a splatter of hip-hop and weird harmonies that has a bit of a dated edge to it. If I could have found the three or four songs I liked on LimeWire I would have done it that way. Oh well. It's worth it for the four tracks, especially This Is Freaky Realistic.

In nostalgic music terms its offence is mild compared to others. These are some songs. They range from so outrageously awful that were it not for sentimental reasons and fantastic, though blurred, memories, history would consign them to the mountainous pile of shite pop music to some genuinely fun tunes. Most of them are terrible. They are, however, all in my iTunes library. And remember, let he (or she) who is without sin cast the first stone. Without further ado:

Saturday Night - Whigfield (I even remember the dance moves)
Never Forget - Take That
We Built This City (On Rock n' Roll) - Starship
Axel F - Harold Faltemeyer
Ooh Ahh, Just a Little Bit - Gina G
All That She Wants - Ace of Bass
The Final Countdown - Europe
Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runner
St Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion) - John Parr
I'm Walking on Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves
Hit Me Baby One More Time - Britney Spears
I've Got The Power - Snap
Footloose - Kenny Loggins (who, by the way, seemed to write almost every movie theme of the eighties, from Top Gun, to Footloose and even Caddyshack)
Tubthumping - Chumbawumba
Sunchyme - Dario G

I feel cleansed by this confession. I don't listen to them that often, but they're there when I need a short reminisce. And out of 4469 songs in the library, that's not such a bad amount of dreadful rubbish, is it? Of course there may be a couple of others in there that suck. Maybe.

08 February 2006

dissent in the ranks

A not-so-anonymous reader doesn't like the new look. And I'm not hugely taken by it myself. For one, some of my painstakingly crafted photo albums from Jerez look dreadful in the new look. Photos overlapping and jumping out of place. It's chaos I tell you. In blog terms. In real life terms there's a great deal more chaos kicking about elswhere and this blog is quite organised in comparison.

So. I'm going to have a look at some other templates. Not that I'm capitulating, but having discovered some problems myself, it's a good idea. To look I mean.

Return to (ab)Normal

I'm not a big believer in normal. Normalcy is not something I aspire to, or ever have aspired to. It just seems like another word for boring. And the people desperately seeking normal lives, or worse: people that believe that their lives constitute normal and anyone that deviates from their prescribed path(s) is ab-or-subnormal, kind of scare me.

Whatever. I picked my phone up today and my replacement SIM card is arriving tomorrow, so for those with my number, I'll be back on it in about a day or so.

I also bought some notebooks today. Beyond a shadow of a doubt the most expensive stationery I've ever purchased. I felt so guilty I gave one to my mom. Smythson on New Bond St are superb but not cheap. And I didn't look at prices. Because, well, the notebooks were small and how expensive can notebooks be?? Very is the answer. And the girl at the register was pretty, so when she told me the amount - instead of hollering in indignation and putting the notebooks very carefully back on their respective shelves, I gave her my credit card. I attempted nonchalance. I left the shop and did some sums in my head. Even when I was employed I couldn't really have afforded them.

I just took them out of their individual boxes. They smell nice. On close inspection, they are without doubt the finest of notebooks and were I already a successful writer I wouldn't dream of purchasing anything else. But I'm not yet. And these are not going to make the words I put in them any better. In fact, is it possible I may be frightened to deface them with idle thoughts? I hope not. Yeah, I spent too much money. No, I really can't afford it. But it's done now. I'm not bringing them back. I will use them. They're part of my toolkit now, they're cheaper than the iMac I'm writing this on, and less likely to break. The words I scrawl in them will some day pay for them and more like them. They will travel everywhere with me.

And if I lose one, I'll be thorough in the search before screaming drunkenly that I've been pick-pocketed.

So I've got my phone back and I'm spending money I can't afford.
It's all back to normal.

07 February 2006

Worth a revisit

Been listening to Portishead for the first time in ages. Chick's got a pair of lungs on her, that's for sure. Well worth a revisit. Beforehand I was listening to some classic Aretha. So I think I'm in a women-with-incredible-voices kind of mood. Might have some Ella next. After that? Lisa Ekdahl maybe? Or if the need is raw, perhaps some Janis Joplin. That might be the way to go. There's something about having the great and genius at my fingertips, just to sing for me, that's heartwarming. A harmless trip of ego.


I was going to post a bunch of pics from the party I was at last weekend, but instead have posted them elsewhere. Here's a link if you want to check them out.

My nose twitches no longer. Off to pick my phone up tomorrow. Much writing to be done.

Really like this pic - winter light can be magical. This is my street looking west.


There's something about a crime self-report form that intimidates. That shouldn't be the case. As I scanned this archaic document, seeming to punish victims of crime, I thought I ought to call the club I was in Friday night. I'd avoided this for a lot of reasons. Well, 2. One, I was convinced it had been nicked, and the other was that I hate making phone calls to strangers. It petrifies me. The only thing that petrified me more was being charged with wasting police time. If they'd phoned the club and found out I'd not checked with them and that my phone was there all the time? Fine, as in having to pay them money, not everything being hunky dory. And possible criminal proceedings. So I bounced this around in my head and figured it was better to brave the club management just to ask a question rather than to risk pissing off the police.

So I phoned the club today.

Someone had turned my phone in.

Just because it was turned in doesn't mean it wasn't nicked in the first place.

Maybe I just needed to rant about something.

Lesson learned? Sheepishness leads only to more sheepishness.

And someone definitely nicked my fucking headphones.

An Edinburgh morning

I took these when I was in Edinburgh for a 30th last month. I was terribly hungover but the morning light was wonderful.

Recovery position

No booze today. Big weekend. On arrival back to London I wound up drinking beer all day with friends. Which is great, but you know, after Friday and Saturday, it may not have been the best or most healthy way to spend Sunday.

I was drinking in Clapham, which is quite a groovy part of South London, but wasn't able to shake the sense of displacement. It's the south of the river thing. It feels weird. Ru agreed with me. Perhaps there's some sort of mystical energy barrier flowing with the Thames? I don't know. It's strange though, and I'm not the only one that thinks so. I did find two new pubs that I liked, and one pub that may be the most soul-less drinking establishment in history. It's called SW4. It's right by Clapham Common tube station, and is high on my list of places never to go back to. Never go there. Ever.

Went to see Walk the Line this evening. Thought it was exceptional, especially the performances. Not the hugest Cash fan myself, though his cover of Hurt is one of the greatest songs of the last 20 years, but the film still resonated. Not the hugest Joaquin Pheonix fan either ('cept for SpaceCamp), but he's awesome in the movie and sounds so close to Cash it's remarkable.

Want to see Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck. Never thought I'd want to see two George Clooney movies in theatres at the same time.

05 February 2006


Remember how I posted yesterday about my phone getting nicked? Well, I'm still in a blinding rage about that.

Airports & hangovers

I'm in an airport. And I'm hungover. Hence the title of this post. I didn't think I was going to make it to the airport on time because of the hangover. I pulled a classic roll-over-and-switch-both-alarms-off this morning at 8. I woke up an hour and fifteen minutes later in a Hugh Grant style fuck-fuck-fuck moment. No hookers though. Shame. Off to a Sunday lunch upon landing, seeing loads of people for the first time in ages. Wicked. Bring it on. Pint o' Pride please mate. Ugh.